“You still have to adopt your children.”
I have said this more times than I can count since the United States Supreme Court decisions on same sex marriage equality United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges.
Many same-sex couples who have a child who is biologically related to one parent and not the other — for example, a couple may use a sperm or egg donor to assist them in conceiving their baby — are under the understandable but mistaken impression that stepparent or second parent adoptions are no longer necessary following Windsor and Obergefell.
This is not the case. Marriage rights and parental rights are two separate issues.
Windsor and Obergefell do not guarantee these parents that their parental rights will be recognized in states that prior to Obergefell refused to recognize marriages between Connecticut same sex spouses.
However, last week, in a unanimous, per curiam opinion in V.L. v. E.L., the Unites States Supreme Court has reversed the Supreme Court of Alabama’s refusal to enforce a Georgia adoption order involving two mothers.
What’s that mean?
It means that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that states are required to recognize another state’s second parent or stepparent adoption order involving same sex parents.
Many families have a child who is biologically related to one parent but not the other, and we love it when we have the opportunity to assist clients in securing their family’s legal rights through second or stepparent adoptions.
We invite you to read more about why same sex spouses should still adopt following Windsor and Obergefell. And, if you are curious about the difference between a second parent and stepparent adoption in Connecticut, please contact Freed Marcroft for more information about Connecticut second parent or stepparent adoption, and how we may able to assist your family.